I’ve mentioned before that Liam is opinionated. Well, Liam didn’t want to do dressage today. We tried our favorite figure 8 exercises to warm up, but he didn’t want to bend. We tried some shoulder-fore to stretch a little, but he just fussed. I let him trot in a long relaxed frame and he seemed content enough, but still heavier than usual. And as soon as I asked anything of him, he just fussed. He didn’t even want to do transitions. He did them, but not promptly, and not pretty, just sorta fell through the motions.
What’s going on with my super-pony?? I figured maybe he was a little muscle sore or something. Nothing was obviously wrong, but something didn’t seem quite right either. Then I think I figured it out, quite by accident. He was BORED!
There was a teeny tiny cross rail set up, so as he was trotting around with his head in the clouds, I pointed him at it, and he immediately perked up, collected, his back came up, his ears pricked forward and he went right up and over it without further instruction from me. Then he softly canter off a few strides, came back to a trot, and looked for the jump. Well then! So we did it again. And again. And again. And again.
It was fun! And he makes it effortless. He’s not really trained to jump, he just enjoys it. I think the way it engages his mind and his body makes him half halt his natural eagerness and find a very happy balance. I guess we’ll call it cross training. It’s gotta be beneficial for his body, if nothing else it will build up topline muscle. And it’s certainly good for his mind. Come to think of it, I think it’s good for my mind too! Yes, cross training it is, and we are adding it to our regularly scheduled exercises. Good idea Liam!